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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right now at Costco they are stocking aluminum featherweight 3-step ladders w/ top step the size of the whole gap (swings over to bridge the two sides) for $30. One of the halfs of the folding ladder forms a brace that your legs leans onto for stability.

I picked one up and will have it available for anyone who wants to try it and see what George Ryan, Randy Jones, Joey T and a large contingent of anglers on Pyramid Lake out west have known for years.

Last couple times out I kept thinking "wish I had a ladder", I set it up in my driveway and thought "wow!". Can't wait to try it. If you'd like to try it just ask.
 

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This is in no way meant as a slam etc. etc. I have to politely go on record as seeing ladders as crossing the "gear" line. I don't use hand held fish finders either. We don't use satellite tracking, microwave bio detection and many other gizmos. So where do we draw the line? Well, just for me, the ladder falls on the outer limit side. Not only do they look totally dorky, but there's something about standing on your 2 feet on the ground that bows to the tradition of FF. As it is we got the internet and cell phones working against the fishes favor. So I guess that would also put me against polling platforms. I dunno, probably, given the position I've taken here.
But the best evidence for my position is Juro himself. Watch him fish. He has acheived a pretty high level of flats fishing ability. He doesn't need a darn ladder. So you get a ladder, catch 10-20% more fish. Yippee, the ladder gets the credit not you.
I would like to work at being a better flyfisherman, not decrease the stripers natural advantages any more than nescesary. I think it is worthy of debate. Thank you.

Terry (Capt. Lefty)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh shit I just wasted $30! ;-) Now every time I try it I will be thinking... I wonder if Terry's watching, I'll never live it down!

Seriously, thanks for the kind words on the short legs I was born with but I gotta try it for myself. Too soon to tell if I get addicted. I didn't go out seeking a ladder, it called to me as I walked by dropping off film for development (with the Striblue/Solo "chick magnet" photo on the roll, you'll see what I mean by that soon).

Maybe I will drape with with nylon fabric so it looks like I am just a tall guy <VBG>

It's not the same as a fish finder, there is nothing electronic about it. It just lets you stand on something to see thru more glare. I don't plan to cast from it
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK - back from a long meeting. Wanted to investigate this topic further, as much for myself as well as to answer the point.

I kinda agree and I kinda don't. If I am taking someone fishing on the flats on a partly cloudy day and don't plan to fish myself I definitely would like to bring it to set up further up the approach to inform my angling friend in advance of an approaching pod. I don't think it's any different than standing on the bank and telling your freind where the big trout is laying on ESPN. Some states consider assisting a fellow angler from a bridge with verbal instruction illegal, or so I've heard. I think it's Maine (?)

On the other hand, fly fishing is about simplifying the pursuit and magnifying the challenge and satisfaction, so a ladder on a flat seems a little like a tree stand with a bow and arrow. Doesn't give the deer much of a chance, but most hunters don't seem to object to that. Or a duck blind or decoys. Doe in heat scent, fresh salmon roe for steelhead, live-lining, chumming, man there are just so many things that we could draw lines before, after or through. Gotta think about it more...

And how about that banjo minnow ;D
 

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Ya but you didn't put the bridge there. One great aspect of fishing is playing the hand that's dealt you. Ya, you could draw the line at QD 325 grain lines too, or synthetic tying materials. You COULD endlessly complicate the issue and come up with any logic (twisted or otherwise). So on this one I go with my gut instict. IT's outside my personal bounds. If it makes you feel like a better fisherman, go for it. Not for me though. And if you ever whip out a ladder while standing beside me, I'm moving down 100 yards.:p

Capt. Lefty

BTW Juro, my ancestors WERE in the revolution. In fact one got killed on April 19 on the "Battle Road". Can't help it, runs in the blood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A civil and reasonable debate is healthy, I enjoy it as much as you obviously do ;-)

All kidding aside, I respect what you said - like a few recent posts said, you gotta do what you feel good about. If you feel like you're cheating standing three feet higher off the water than your legs would permit, then you shouldn't do it. I still don't know how I feel about it, but I do know there are a lot cheaper things being done out there than standing on something. No one seems to be upset about those 'sporting' methods.

I only object to one part of your reply, "if it makes me feel like a better fisherman", etc. Not sure where that came from, I never implied that the ladder would make me feel like a better fisherman. In fact it would make me feel quite the opposite... damn you! }>
 

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Great topic which opens up a whole sphere of debate around the fundamental spirit of fly-fishing. I though about this one quite a bit before committing Asci to Dasd. The advantages of a step ladder seem to fall into improving visibility and assisting in casting by providing better clearance on the backcast. Taking the latter first, this really is no different from casting from the deck of a flats boat except that your rooted to one spot. Now if someone came up with a version on wheels with an electric propulsion unit hmmmm.

On the first point, improving visibility doesn't necessarily translate into catching more fish although it does increase your opportunity. Having spent a lot of time on the flats pursuing bonefish, permit and latterly stripers, seeing the fish is where the challenge (or problem depending on your point of view) actually begins. Making the right presentation and successfully fooling a fish into eating your fly is where the "spirit" of the game is played and I don't see the step ladder helping in this sense at all.

Would I use one? Sure, if I had someone to carry it for me ;)

p.s. Forgot to mention this. Terry, stripers have access to the Internet! It's true, Jimmy told me at the spring clave and they check on this and other forums frequently to anticipate our best laid plans!
 

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So I guess that next year, when I'm a Cape resident, an amphibious ultra-light and 2-way radios might be overkill?
And what about a pre-season low altitude photo recon?
Interesting possibilities!
 

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Juro...you might consider the use of that step ladder at the next Chatham Selectmen's meeting...that cauzzzway parking issue could be a real barn burner!
 

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Adrian,
Maybe you could find a high school kid to be a ladder caddy for a few bucks. ;)

On my last trip back with Rip Ryder I notice a guy with a ladder. He was real proud of the fact that he added big wheels to it. Boy was I mumbling to myself. How to make a dorky situtation dorkier. Are we fisherMEN or not?

Men men men men.....

Capt. Lefty
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Terry -

He may have been a guide, and if so I argue that the use of a ladder (since guides are not fishing for themselves but for a living) is acceptable. Kind of like a lifting belt used by a clammer to save his back. I kinda alluded to that in the earlier post, cause there are some really good guides who use ladders to see fish better for clients.

As you know I also guide shore trips on occasion and if it means my eyes will serve better to point out fish for a customer I will "whip it out" for sure. Besides I kind of like the idea of people moving 100 yards down the beach! }>
 

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Hey if you use polarized glasses to improve your ability to see into the water why not a ladder. I don't see myself adding one to the gear list, but never say never. Good luck with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
SOLO (06-22-2001 08:03 p.m.):
Juro...you might consider the use of that step ladder at the next Chatham Selectmen's meeting...that cauzzzway parking issue could be a real barn burner!
Now that's the best use of the stepladder yet! In fact all fishermen should bring one to stand above the crowd and express how important access to the federal wildlife refuge is.

Sure beats the heck out of painting and changing light bulbs ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
ssully (06-22-2001 09:50 p.m.):
What's next tree stands and shooting the line with a bow? ;-)
If you asked a deer hunter he'd probably say yes!

I am not a hunter and not sure if any of you guys are but I'm curious - did bowhunters object to tree stands when they first came out? I don't know any deer hunters who don't use tree stands anymore. Every hunter friend of mine uses them.

Just curious... there are a lot of parallels...
 

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One of the reasons I got the Tri-balance was so I could stand up.. in the cock pit and fish. The first time I tried it I lost my balance and went in head first( ot the other time at The Bath Tub). But it was also the typical coverage of more water.. I suopose like a power boat.. but with the obvious limitations.
 

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This thread is epic.

I've already printed, framed, and hung it in my apartment..w/o a ladder of course.

In fact, I manufactured the hangers from minerals found just yonder by the T.
 

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Evolution of the step ladder.....

http://www.avsharp.com/monomoy%202001/dalek.jpg

This highly advanced unit comes with on-board solar and backup nuclear powered propulsion unit, advanced infra red and sonic motion detectors. The chasis is guaranteed to withstand the impact of a clam diggers boat at full speed. Custom features include plasma disruptor cannon or torpedo launcher for dealing with boats who venture too close on the flats. This unit is expected to ship in the US this fall. Stay tuned for details!
 
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